Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Banned Books Week: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

by:  Sherman Alexiepublished by: Little, Brown Young Readers
publish date:  September 2007

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live.
Reasons cited for banning:  offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence

In reading this book I did encounter "offensive language", racism, and violence.  I didn't find anything "sexually explicit".  I don't even know what "sex education" means in terms of a reason for banning.  I didn't find any sort of step by step manual in the book.  There was a mention of masturbation in the book and perhaps that was the sexually explicit, sex education was, but again it was more of a mention of it and not a how-to and there was no discussion of body parts. 

I don't know what age group this book was geared toward, I would have to assume high school age kids.  I couldn't imagine this book would be in a middle school library.  I would think this book wouldn't be anything outrageous for the average kid in high school.  I don't understand what age group it's unsuited for.

I, personally, found it to be an interesting story.  I liked the way it was written in diary format with a mixture of comic drawings.  It told an important story about life on reservations, one that more kids should understand and if this is the way they come by it, so be it.


Anonymous said...

This book is at the very top of my Banned Books Week reading list!
People who ban books are just ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

The funny part is that this book came to my attention only because they tried to ban it. Once I heard of all the "offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit [...] and violence" I was immediately enticed to read it as I'm sure many others.

Katy said...

I loved this book. Junior is such a great kid that you can't help but cheer for.